Working on these 7′ x 4′ drawings certainly is presenting it’s own challenges. Lately I’ve been implementing strategies for how to maintain a cohesive sense of the entire composition at all stages of the drawing. When I’m up close working on the drawing, it’s pretty much impossible to see the entire composition all at once. I’ve been forcing myself to step back very often so I can get a better sense of the relationships that are going on in the drawing. My studio is big enough that I can usually get at least 10 feet back from the drawing, which is enormously helpful. In fact, I’ve been stepping back so much that I’m starting to feel like I’m spending more time looking than drawing!
Another approach I’ve been taking is shooting a photograph of the drawing and then looking at the thumbnail image on my camera. Seeing the drawing shrunk down to a 3″ tall image really condenses the composition and gets me looking at the overall balance of the piece, rather than getting fixated on the details.
3 thoughts on “Standing Back”
I love your composition and movement in this drawing. Your techniques look like they are working!
Interesting how you’re using the small image on the camera to go by. I just bought a digital photoframe and am going to use that to sit it next to my next painting or drawing. It’s only 6 inches width, so it is similar to what your’ doing. You can enlarge areas of it and pan also. I think it is helpful to see a small image…nearly the same as squinting. I personally don’t like squinting. I believe I can see things well enough without doing that. I kind of use periferal vision most of the time.
… helpful clue from preparing images for printing techniques… I find looking in a mirror over my shoulder at a large work sometimes gives a shocking new perspective on overall composition…